The My abusive relationship with Pretty Little Liars

I have a seriously unhealthy relationship with ‘Pretty Little Liars.’

Admittedly, as a thirty-something English woman I’m not exactly the target demographic for American teen drama shows. But it turns out binge-watching ‘Scream Queens’ while idly doing the laundry was the gateway drug and now Pandoras box is open.

My relationship with this particular show is incredibly abusive. Because no matter how many times it hurts or disappoints me, I come back for more.

I started watching PLL via Netflix with five seasons worth of episodes to gorge on all at once. Seven seasons later I have more questions than answers at this point! Every time I think I know who the shadowy and psychotic ‘A / Uber A / AD’ is – the breadcrumb trail disintegrates before my eyes. An entire seasons worth of in-depth exposition (cough – EZRA – cough) is obnoxiously explained away in under ten minutes and life in Rosewood goes back to normal once more. Which is when I feel both outraged and sad and invariably need to go sit down for a little bit with a biscuit and a cup of tea.

What’s comforting is that it’s not just me. There’s a whole internet community dedicated to pouring over clues and dissecting characters in the show (a la CSI) in a futile attempt to reveal who the culprit really is.

I’m just hoping that the writers have an end game that will be worth the seven seasons of debate and dedication. Because we’re treading some dangerous ‘Lost’ territory here. If they chose a finale reveal that makes no sence at all the fans may take to the streets and cause a riot while shouting unanswered questions at the sky. And I will be leading the charge.

Here are a few of the ones I genuinely need answered:

1 The link between Alison and Bethany Young. The liars discovered a letter revealing that Alison invited Bethany Young to visit her for the fateful labour day weekend Ali disappeared / Bethany was bludgeoned and buried alive in her place. Not only that, but that Ali also bought Bethany clothes that included a yellow top (her favourite colour). The same yellow top Alison was also wearing (to create a decoy / human shield perhaps?) But in Charlotte’s version of events regarding Bethany, she told the liars that Ms Young broke out of Radley with homicide in mind and stole her clothes to do so – which is how she came to be wearing the yellow top.

So… which is it? Was Bethany an invited guest or a crazed lunatic bent on murder? Because the written letter shows us what side of the fence Bethany herself believed she was on.


As soon as Charlotte blurted out this inconsistent story why didn’t the girls ask Alison which version of events was the correct one and (by the way) how the hell she knew Bethany to start with? It’s clear that Bethany was in contact with Alison. Remember the recording of her ranting about Mrs D being a bitch and also musing ‘I thought she really liked me… Everything she said was a lie…Is it like mother like daughter?’And for that matter – why haven’t we seen a picture of Bethany as a teen / young adult? Is it because Bethanys face is all too familiar to us?

2 Mona. I’m glad the liars have finally started to utilise Mona as a resource. But the fact nobody has interrogated Mona for both answers and insight despite the fact she has been the architect of a whole clusterfuck of previous schemes frustrates the hell out of me. Even if she doesn’t genuinely know who ‘AD’ is I’m pretty sure Mona could make an educated guess. A) as a hacker, B) as the original ‘A’ – and (oh yea) C) as a reformed evil genius. I enjoy all the episodes that involve Mona and it saddens me that we have had more with ‘Officer Love interest’ in them this season than such a complex and well portrayed character.

3 What happened to Eddie Lamb? Last we saw of him he thought he recognised Aria in Radley. Then after coincidentally calling Ezra (her boyfriend and former super-stalker) the very same night to tell him something “important”… Eddie never showed up at the agreed rendezvous to share this mysterious information. In fact – nobody ever heard from him again after this exact moment. What’s that about? Why did he have Ezra’s number? Why didn’t Ezra seem all that bothered by all this? And why hasn’t anyone looked for Eddie considering he CLEARLY knew something of importance?

4 Spencer twin theory – I am a fan of this theory, although if Spencer’s twin / split personality is the villain behind all of this I would  roll my eyes at how convenient it is. It would be a little ‘Sunset Beach’ of them to be honest. There have been hints that Spencer has a twin. From her memory gaps during her speeding days to appearing in the “dream” Hannah had while she was captive and being tortured with an electric cattle prod (suspiciously around the time Spencers relationship with Caleb was going south due to his still being in love with Hannah)… Not to mention the weird encounter Ezra stumbled upon between Wren and Spencer at the airport. Looking shifty and asking Ezra to keep witnessing this meeting secret? Why?

I found something interesting on Wikipedia while I was skimming through the page. The casting call for the actresses and the roles they would be playing. Under Troian Bellisario it listed as Spencer, Bethany and AD.

Now, that might in itself be enough of a ‘mike drop’ for some. But Wikipedia isn’t the most reliable thing in the world so take from this what you will. However, when I flagged it up via twitter this part of the document suddenly disappeared from Wikipedia. This could be nothing or it could be something. It would make sense to me that either Spencers twin sister is AD and this is who has been running around terrorising everyone. Because Spencer is the smartest of the liars. The only character who could match her in my opinion is Mona.

5 Who the hell was Sarah Harvey really? How is she connected to all this? I’m finding it hard to believe that she was kidnapped by Uber A (aka Charlotte), held in a bunker by said captor for years, eventually formed a friendship with her, became a double agent on Charlottes behalf… and what? Attempted to avenge her death when someone stepped up and hurled her off the bell tower of the church? Why? And for what purpose? Stockholm syndrome – or something more nefarious? And what was all that crap with the bomb in Radley while Charlotte was spilling her guts? Or Sarah insisting on using Charlottes old Radley room?… And does anyone else find it ironic that Sarah was killed in the shower considering she kept taking extra long showers in order to avoid answering any of Emily’s questions?

6 Leslie Stone. Speaking of random Felecias – lets talk about Lesli Stone for a moment. When the spotlight of suspicion fell on Ms Stone in season five, we discovered that not only was she a patient at Radley, she also had medical training, wears fake glasses, had been roommates with Bethany Young – and also knew Charles / Cece. I would have thought the fact she used to bunk with Cece’s arch nemesis was information of value to the liars and would put her top of the AD list. Maybe she is AD and is somehow avenging Bethany’s death? But if so, why hurl herself in the path of the liars after Monas funeral? Wouldn’t it be better (and smarter) to lay low and out of sight?

Also, if she considered herself Monas friend why is she a total bitch to her: “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I asked you to do one thing, Mona. One freaking thing! And you screwed it up. You screwed it up for me. You always screw everything up!” — Lesli to Mona in She’s No Angel.

What did she mean by that?

What else did Mona screw up?

7 Aria –  I am very much open to Aria’s year in Iceland being code for ‘year in Radley’ for as yet unknown and suitably tragic reasons. But with only two episodes until the show is over I think it unlikely. We know she has rage issues, mental illness runs in her family, she has been voted the “most convincing liar” by the other girls, keeps creepily staring at her reflection, trashed both her Dad’s office and Ezra’s flat when she was upset with them, didn’t get targeted by A / Uber A through the years as badly as the other girls… So, whats that all about? If Arias issues were one gigantic red herring and not even touched upon by the end of the show – I will be flipping tables.

8 Who is Mrs Potter and why did ‘A’ leave flowers on her grave in ‘the new normal’? Was that question ever answered?

9 Ezra’s network of cameras and gizmos. Why are the girls not utilising Ezra’s in-depth network of intricate spy cameras and snarfing devices? Surely if they patched into ‘EZ-net’ they would have at the very least stumbled upon the identity of who left the endgame in Spencer’s house to start with.

10 Lucas. We know that Lucas was bullied by Alison, that he said that ‘she’ll get whats coming to her,’ he had a mystery girlfriend that never ended up being revealed, he is now a dot-com millionaire thanks to business ventures including developing apps (meaning he has both the money for the dollhouse and also the ability to develop the app for the endgame), that he bought this secluded factory on the skirts of Rosewood, that he is in love with Hannah but has been mercilessly friendzoned for years, that the ‘tech’ in his smart-flat went nuts at Hannah’s bridal shower during which Aria was almost barbequed… And NOW we also know that he was BFF’s with Charles years ago while attending at a camp for troubled boys.

And that opens a whole other can of worms.

Why was Lucas at this camp? Why was he troubled? What did he do? Did he really not know that Cece was Charles all this time? Regardless, wouldn’t he have realised that everything the girls seemed to be going through *had* to be connected to him in some way? Considering parts of their ordeal were eerily similar to a comic he once co-wrote?… Was HE the one laying flowers on Charlotte’s grave and getting into the back of the limo? Did Lucas kill Charlotte to protect Hannah?

11 Why is it that Melissa gets a free pass on all the stuff she has been linked to? The suitcase handle that killed Sarah perfectly matched Melissa’s broken suitcase handle, her voice was heard encouraging Wilden to shove the box containing Aria and Garrett off the train, she was the Black Swan, she lied about her baby, she was seen arguing with Cece the night of Alison’s disappearance, she killed Bethany by burying her alive, took the picture on the boat of Alison and Cece with Wilden that summer, was a member of Mona’s army and seemed to be calling the shots, wanted to get her hands on the N.A.T club tapes more than anyone else (why? What was on those tapes she was so afraid of anyone seeing?), She wasn’t in London when Toby flew there to convince her to return with him, according to Wren Melissa was the one okaying Cece’s visits to Mona…

12 Caleb – Now, I love Caleb. However, he is also a techno whizz / hacker genius, is a mysterious orphan, has access to money thanks to his sugar-birth-mama, has worked for Jenna previously, seems to have weird tension with Alison when they have scenes together, fights AD’s tech on behalf of the girls with his own (but suspiciously is never able to unmask AD), is more than capable of coming up with an app like the one that AD is using on the girls to play their sick game, got together with Spencer briefly as some kind of weird rebound attempt to get over Hannah (not classy at all old boy)… and recently he proposed to Hannah and mentioned that one bonus of getting married was that he and Hannah would be unable to testify against each other. Why would he mention that?! I want to beleive in Caleb, but he seems too good to be true.

13 The NAT Club. What in the love of all that is good and pure was the point of bringing the NAT club into the show if it came to nothing and was a pointless dead end? And who was the secret member of the NAT club? Was this Charlotte? Or maybe – Wren? Hell, maybe it was Ezra. It doesn’t seem to even matter anyway, so why not?

14 The five year time jump. The five years must be significant surely. It wasn’t two years and four months, or one year – it was five specifically. Why?

15 Motive. We know that Mona was the original ‘A’ to get back at Alison for bullying her / take revenge on the girls for being complicit in this (also for stealing Hannah away from her), that Uber A was Charlotte who was taking vengeance against the girls for being happy that Alison had disappeared (Um… okay) – and now ‘AD’ is taking vengeance for Charlotte’s death.

So, as the motive for this new unseen nemesis is to avenge Cece’s death – wouldn’t it stand to reason that ‘AD’ is either a member of Cece’s family, a lover or even a  friend?

Which leaves the following as suspects:

  • Alison = cousin
  • Mary Drake = birth mother
  • Mr Drake (or Paster Ted) = father
  • Jason = cousin
  • Mr DiLaurentis = Uncle / adopted father
  • Spencer = half sister
  • Spencer’s possible twin = also half sister
  • Charlotte’s posse = Jenna is the only remaining member other than (I suspect) Wren.

I personally would like it to be someone amazing and tie the show up in a great big bow for the fans. Only in a brilliant, creative way that answers all of the “What the fuck was that about?” moments that have cropped up over the years. 

What can I say? I’m addicted. All I know is that my favourite past time is yelling at the TV, working on my suspect list and coming to the sad conclusion that with just two episodes to go there will be HUGE questions left unanswered.

It feels as if the writers of the show procrastinated for ages and then realised that they had a mountain of loose ends to tie up in a short period of time and reacted like this:

And if I didn’t care about the show, I would be okay with that. 

But to be honest I feel an emotional investment has been made and I don’t want to be short changed by another disappointing reveal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s